Sen. Leila de Lima on Tuesday insisted on her innocence, amid fresh accusations by President Rodrigo Duterte about supposed wiretapped conversation and automated teller machine (ATM) records proving her links to the illegal drug trade.
Interviewed by reporters, De Lima initially refused to comment on the latest remarks made by Duterte during an early morning press conference in Davao City last Sunday.
She, however, eventually said: "Inuulit ko lang [ang] sinabi ko. Ako, sigurado po ako sa sarili ko. I'm never involved in drugs. I never benefitted from drugs."
"I am not a protecter or coddler of any drug lord, any drug convict. Sigurado po ako sa sarili ko," said De Lima, saying that while some might not believe her, "later they would."
She said people who know her could even attest to the fact she would never engage in such criminal activities.
During his press conference, Duterte said he has received intercepted conversation between De Lima and her driver provided by a “friendly country” that allegedly revealed her connections to illegal activities inside the New Bilibid Prison.
The “friendly” country also provided a ATM records and codes emanating from Muntinlupa but did not elaborate, the President added.
Duterte had claimed De Lima's driver used to collect money from drug lords at the national penitentiary to be used by the then Justice secretary for her senatorial campaign.
During a press briefing on Saturday, De Lima said evidence the Duterte administration might have are all fabricated, fake, and perjured. She agreed to resign or get shot in front of the President if real evidence would show her complicity in illegal activities at NBP. — Mark Merueñas/RSJ, GMA News